By Giacomo Brunelli @GiacomoBrunelli
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Videographer / director: Alexis Duran
Producer: Giacomo Brunelli, Ruby Coote, James Thorne
Editor: Beth Angus
For 38-year-old Maxine Montoya her 42JJ cleavage is a way to express her femininity “in a way that’s right up front and really obvious.”
The veteran of the United States Air Force from San Diego, California told Barcroft TV: “I could talk about my boobs all day, I couldn’t be happier with the results I got from my breast augmentation.
“Why this big? I see this as something empowering. That exaggeration of femininity and what it represents.
“I sometimes wonder if I want to get bigger.”
Before transitioning Maxine was married and had a daughter, Mia, 14, who still calls her ‘Dad.’
“I see no reason why a trans woman can’t be a father - I’m still her father, I’m just a woman and a dad,” Maxine said.
Mia said: “There was never any need for me to change what I call my dad because my dad always said ‘I fathered you, so you can continue to call me by that name.’”
Mia came out as bisexual at 9 years old, and said that having a transgender parent really helped understand her true self.
Mia said: “Being bisexual and having a trans parent around helped immensely.
“If my dad hadn’t transitioned, I probably wouldn’t have come out as soon as I did without the other LGBTQ figure in my life who I knew was going to love me no matter what.”
Maxine thinks she would have also transitioned earlier if she had been surrounded by the same positive influences as her daughter.
She said: “I was raised in a very sheltered, conservative household.
“With all the information that’s available now on the internet, if I had that I probably would have done this a lot sooner.”
Recalling her time in the armed forces, Maxine said: “My mother wanted me to join the military, I honestly don’t have very fond memories of my experiences there.
“I was in a culture that did not accept me.”
Although she left the military before transitioning, Maxine was still in service when she started cross dressing.
“I didn’t come out as transgender in the military, however that doesn’t mean that I didn’t experience dysphoria,” she said.
“I was wearing a skirt and some makeup, and I was walking around, word of that got back to someone in my chain of command and I ended up receiving what were flat out threats against my career.
“I asked myself this question: Do I ever want to be perceived as male? And the answer was an immediate no.”
Maxine has now been on Hormone Replacement Therapy for over a year and a half and has never been happier.
She said: “It just changed everything in a way that I could never have anticipated, it has made a world of difference in the way I feel.”
However, in order to reduce the dosage of testosterone blockers or even come off them completely, Maxine is currently planning to get bottom surgery too.
“I am getting what’s called an orchiectomy - you have the testicles removed, and I have zero attachment to those girls so they can go.
“My doctors told me that if I get those removed, she can probably lower my dosage of testosterone blockers or take me off it completely.”
Maxine speaks with frustration about the misconceptions that other people have of her,
She said: “People assumed that I am attracted to men because I’m female, but I’m gay - people don’t understand that, they can’t separate gender from sexuality.”
Maxine is in a committed relationship with her partner Melissa, who has muscular dystrophy. Maxine is her full-time carer.
Maxine added: “I’m a caregiver for my partner and that brings me a lot of joy.”
Unfortunately, the couple have to face a lot of judgement and prejudice directed at their inter-abled love.
Maxine said: “Nobody wants to assume we are a couple; I can kiss her in public and people are looking at us just trying to understand what this means and how does this happen.”
But the two go back over 20 years, when they met through a common friend in high school.
Melissa said: “In high school she was always very feminine and that’s one of the qualities I loved about her, she was my best friend.”
When they are out in public, they often receive looks and stares.
“A lot of people look at it negatively, there’s nothing to say to those people,” said Maxine.
Maxine even seems to somewhat enjoy the negative looks.
“The attention, I love it all, there’s nothing I don’t appreciate, both positive and negative - I’m not dressing this way to blend, I dress to stand out so if I get negative glares, it’s just kind of validating,” she said.